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Libertarian Party of Arkansas Gets 2018 Ballot Access

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Chair Michael Pakko with over 15,000 signatures to be submitted to the Secretary of State's office for ballot access. May 2016.
Jacob Kauffman

For the fourth election cycle in a row, the Libertarian Party of Arkansas has been officially recognized as a ‘new’ political party. It needed 10,000 signatures to be able to put its candidates on the 2018 ballot. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has certified that 12,749  out of 15,108 signatures were determined valid.

The party had 90 days to collect signatures. Libertarians submitted them on June 12th. In a statement, LPA Treasurer Stephen Wait said it came at a cost of over $25,000 in addition “a lot of volunteer hours.”

Political parties in Arkansas need to garner at least 3-percent of the vote in either the governor’s race or a presidential election to retain automatic ballot access for the next election. In 2016, Presidential candidate Gary Jonson garnered 2.6 percent and in 2014 gubernatorial hopeful Frank Gilbert received 1.9 percent support.

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has declared he will run for the state’s top office again in 2018. No Democrats have announced at this juncture. Libertarian Mark West is seeking his party’s nomination. West took in 23.7 percent of the 2016 vote for the U.S. House seat for District 1 in east Arkansas.

Jacob Kauffman is a former news anchor and reporter for KUAR.
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